With things winding down after Halloween, another cultural celebration many American might overloo is the "Dia de Muertos" or "Day of the Dead", often celebrated by Latin American communities. Despite its similarity to Halloween with its scary costumes, the "Day of the Dead" has a more meaningful, cultural significance to Latin Americans. Here are the top five things you didn't know about this holiday.

1. It's not supposed to be scary

The macabre outfits and skull-costumes are elements of a colorful, carnival-like celebration meant to go alongside family vigils and offering presents and prayers for dead loved ones. In the belief that spirits will bless them with good luck and protection, children wear costumes. People eat candy skulls as a reminder that death is nothing but a sweet continuation of life.

2. It is deeply rooted in Aztec culture

This divine tradition started about 3,000 years ago, and has always been celebrated with face-painting, storytelling, food offering and honoring descendant spirits. The Aztecs believed that death was actually the beginning of a new life and on this day would hold rituals and celebrations, offering goods to the goddess Mitecacihuatl ("Lady of the Dead"). According to The Guardian, when Spanish conquistadors invaded, they viewed the event as sacrilegious and tried to combine it with the Catholic holidays of All Saints Day (November 1) and All Souls' Day (November 2).

3. It is celebrated in the Philippines, Belize and Brazil

Because of the similar colonial presence of the Spanish conquistadors, the Philippines also celebrates this holiday with families spending the night in cemeteries, playing games and drinking, as if doing so with long-gone relatives. In Brazil, it is known as Finados, in Belize, Day of the Skulls. Both countries pay tribute by cooking ceremonial foods and making flower crowns for the skulls of dead relatives, according to The Independent.

4. Funny poems about the dead are written

"Calaveras" or short poems and limericks are created by festival goers as a means of "mocking" tombstones and epitaphs of loved ones who have passed away. Authors would describe odd habits or funny anecdotes their loved ones once had, as a means of accepting their passing, and celebrating the new life death has offered them.

5. It is a protected cultural heritage

UNESCO has listed the event as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. It was because of the "great care taken with all aspects of the preparations" for the festival known for its vibrant colors and creative flair.